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Throbbing Gristle (live)

The Astoria, London 16 May 2004

Throbbing Gristle not playing a live gig (Click for larger image. Pic: Simon Leigh, www.simonleigh.com)Twenty-three years, man. Twenty-three (of course) years since (when I was way too small to appreciate this shit) the colossal monster of sound known as Throbbing Gristle last stomped its way through a live venue. The mission was terminated? or was it? Cut to NOW. A bunch of people, all of whom knew it was too good to be true that the legendary THROBBING FUCKING GRISTLE had overcome their differences and were actually headlining an entire fucking festival – at a holiday camp in Camber Sands, no less – had their hopes dashed as the whole event was cancelled two weeks before the scheduled date. But then? TG announced a one-off “live recording session” (I shouldn’t say “gig”, even though what transpired would prove me right?)

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Holly Golightly/The Pipettes (live at the ICA)

London 11 May 2004

Since leaving Thee Headcoatees, Holly Golightly has been carving her own idiosyncratic niche in Garage Blues, lo-fi R&B in a retro Punk vein. Eschewing the vagaries of digital technology for the immediacy of vintage Vox amplifiers, Hofner guitars and a voice turned to honkytonk leather by bourbon and bar room smoke. Bearing all this in mind it is perhaps surprising to find Holly playing at the ICA: land of square glasses, new media and progressive Drum’n’Bass DJ sets. So with some trepidation, and an irrational fear that she has swapped her Medway Delta Blues band for a couple of nerds with laptops, we find ourselves in this hallowed bastion of culture.

We are somewhat reassured by the support act, The Pipettes, who romp their way through a half hour of Sixties girlband Pop complete with eccentric organist and female trio in op-art frocks. Top marks to

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Richard H Kirk – Earlier/Later

Label: The Grey Area of Mute Format: 2CD

Earlier/Later - sleeveAh, Industrial music before the word Industrial became synonymous with Heavy Metal! Earlier/Later is the second album of Richard H Kirk‘s archive tracks from The Grey Area of Mute, the first being Digital lifeforms Redux in his Sandoz guise. As with that album’s second disc, this compilation contains previously unreleased material, including a cover of Can‘s “I Want More” which is given the full Donna Summer/Giorgio Moroder Electro treatment.

A friend of mine once said “Oh, Cabaret Voltaire, they’re like Depeche Mode aren’t they”. Yes and no. For a moment in the mid Eighties they crossed paths. The feeling is totally different, though. Even when God is given a severe ticking off on Blasphemous Rumours Depeche Mode are never as dark or aggressive as Cabaret Voltaire. The difference? Depeche Mode say dark things, Cabaret

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Sandoz – Digital Lifeforms Redux

Label: The Grey Area of Mute Format: 2CD

Digital Lifeforms Redux - sleeveDigital Lifeforms Redux is a reissue of work originally available on Touch from Richard H Kirk, the electronic half of Cabaret Voltaire. Unlike the Early/Later compilation simultaneously released by The Grey Area, this album represents a specific moment in time: the years 92-93. It is less representative of his work in Cabaret Voltaire, not that an Richard H Kirk album should be obliged to be representative. Kirk says that “the inspiration for much of this music came from a trip to Haiti in 1991”. It is “an attempt to fuse African sounds with machine music, or European electronics”. The tracks on Digital Lifeforms also take inspiration from Detroit Techno godfathers Juan Atkins and Derrick May, and the Redux edition includes an extra CD of mostly unreleased tracks.

The result is a relaxed

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